September 29, 2006
Gang violence filters into one Augusta neighborhood.
This week alone deputies have been called out to Shirley Avenue and Miles Road two times because of suspected gang violence.
Only on 12, News 12's Domonique Benn caught up with a man who happened to be in town for his sister's wedding and found himself dodging gang members' bullets...all because of a mistaken identity.
Nearly 20 shell casings were found at a scene that could have cost Jamaal Hall his life.
"I was fixing to get off the phone, make a left, then boom, boom, in the air and then they started coming in the car," he recalls.
Investigators say what happed at the intersection of Shirley Avenue and Miles Road could have been retaliation by suspected gang members because of a drive by shooting earlier this week. Only this time, it was Jamaal Hall in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"The subjects in that area feel they were being a victim of another drive by and mistaken this individual as a person out there to do them harm, so they fired shots at his vehicle," says Sgt. Richard Roundtree of the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
Sgt. Roundtree says this area has been labeled a hot spot for gang activity.
At least nine of the shell casings found are commonly used in high powered rifles like AR 15s and M16's.
"Once you are dealing with these types of weapons and number of rounds being fired, it is dangerous to everybody in the area," Sgt. Roundtree says.
Luckily, despite the fact that one bullet pierced the side of his car, Jamaal escaped uninjured.
He's thankful his 8 year old daughter was not in the car...he was on his way to pick her up from relatives.
"It's unnecessary, for one. Guns are for protection," Jamaal says. "You put guns in the hands of people that don't respect them, and innocent people get hurt just like me."
A case of mistaken identity could have had family members planning a funeral on the heels of Jamaal's sister's wedding.
No arrests have been made in the case.